Once an association is there, it sticks.
I wonder why it’s so hard for the mind to lose associations. Probably because it’s pretty much unlearning something, which is something that’s not in our nature to do. Rather, remembering is so important to us as a species that we may even have evolved to be purposefully bad at forgetting things once we’ve learned them. Of course, our wicked minds find other ways of dealing with that in extreme cases…
This is a bit troublesome though. What if something positive somehow manages to pick up negative associations? As people call these out, the association strengthens in themselves and others. Before you know it, it’s “gone viral” and there’s no stopping it. At that point, is there anything you can do to save the actually positive thing from a fate of rejection because of associations?
Probably not. Groups of people are a powerful thing.